Sgt. Heidi Murphy
Region Two Office, New Hampton, NH
Franconia, NH – At approximately 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified of an injured hiker at the Greenleaf Hut on Mt. Lafayette. The hiker was identified as Zhaojing Zhong, age 59, of Bronx, NY. Zhong, her husband, and two friends had started ascending the popular Franconia Ridge Trail loop on October 4, reaching the Falling Waters Trail about 8:30 a.m. The group had completed hiking the ridge to the summit of Mt. Lafayette. At approximately 4:30 p.m. on their descent to the Greenleaf Hut, Zhong fell on slippery terrain and injured her lower leg making her unable to walk any further. Zhong’s husband was able to carry her down the remaining section until they reached the Greenleaf Hut. AMC hut crew allowed the group to spend the night because she was unable to walk and called for assistance the next morning.
The NH Army National Guard was called to see if they could assist in the rescue efforts. The Guard was able to send a flight crew to Greenleaf Hut and arrived at that location at approximately 10:15 a.m. on October 5. Zhong and her husband were assisted by flight crew into the helicopter using the jungle penetrator. Zhong arrived safely at Littleton Regional Healthcare at approximately 10:50 a.m. for further evaluation and treatment.
The weather this time of year changes quickly and having the right equipment and gear could save your life. New Hampshire Fish and Game would like to remind hikers to prepare themselves before venturing out into the wilderness, including packing the ten essential items: map, compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, headlamp, fire starter, first aid kit, whistle, rain/wind jackets and pants, and a knife. For additional information, please visit www.hikeSafe.com.